Recently it was reported that a lobster was caught off the coast of Canada with a Pepsi logo imprinted on its claw. It is believed that a Pepsi can found its way to the bottom of the ocean where these crustaceans grow and that the lobster got its unique ‘tattoo’ from growing around the branded can. Now if that doesn’t convince you that there is too much garbage in our seas, nothing probably will.
Drinks cans are just one of the many pollutants threatening marine ecosystems – plastic remains the biggest culprit. In fact, last year research led by Sherri Mason, a professor at the State University of New York at Fredonia in the US found plastic pollution to be so widespread that micro plastics are now commonly found in sea salt, an ingredient prized in kitchens all over the world.
Sir David Attenborough, renowned British naturalist and the voice behind the Blue Planet documentary series on BCC Earth, concurs. Blue Planet 2 explores the impact of the major challenges facing the oceans of the world, including climate change and plastic pollution. Attenborough said at the recent launch of the series that he hoped it would encourage everyone to consider how their behavior affected the oceans. “What we’re going to do about a 1.5 degrees rise in the temperature of the ocean over the next 10 years, I don’t know, but we could actually do something about plastic right now,” he said.
Last year we reported on International Beach Clean-up Day and how you can lend a hand in cleaning up your nearest beach. But tackling trash on this scale demands more action from us than a once-a-year endeavour. Find out how you can get involved in the preservation of our coastal areas and reduce your reliance on plastic and other pollutants today by checking out these great initiatives:
Muizenberg Beach Clean-up with MID and Environmental Warriors: https://www.facebook.com/MuizenbergBeachCleanup/
The Beach Co-operative:
White Sharks Project:
The African Marine Waste Network:
The Sustainable Seas Trust:
Two Oceans Aquarium:
Durban Partnership Against Plastic Pollution:
Love our trails:
Blake Dyason (who started Love Our Trails):
Let’s Do It World!
Keep Hout Bay Beautiful: